Selling new ideas can be tough. If you are a creative type, that’s even tougher. Usually people who need your services realize they need help but often don’t trust the young, creative professional because, by and large, creative people scare them. From the way you dress, to the language you use, all the way to your non-corporate haircut, you can make your potential client nervous. The sooner you realize this dynamic, the sooner you can overcome it. It happens to me quite often. I’m creative, opinionated, and Brazilian. I make a lot of people nervous. Here’s a simple strategy I use when dealing with those non-creative professionals.
Understand where their pain is. What do they “think” they need from me? Sometimes what they need and their perception of the need are not the same. Regardless, you must always start from their perspective, no matter your assessment of the situation.
Speak their language. I met with a CPA firm not long ago. I knew better than to talk about “the customers’ stories intersecting the company’s storyline thus creating a rich new narrative.” That kind of talk would have me escorted off the premises.
Alleviate their pain with your solution. After you understood what their felt needs are and figured out how they want to get the information, then it’s time to connect the dots for them. But you can only do that by starting at their pain point and using the language they are accustomed to hearing. Most people lose the deal at this point. Contextualization is not just a missional term, it’s a business one as well. The right solution presented in a way that’s foreign to your audience will get voted down every time.
What other help would you offer to creatives working with non-creatives?